Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Not easier, just different

Last night I went shopping for Quorn. I have never bought it before, nor knowingly eaten it. Not being a vegetarian it hasn't occurred to me to try such things. I don't really understand why you would want to eat something pretending to be meat if you don't approve of eating meat. Prior to owning a husband I was as likely to eat a vegetarian meal as not, mostly because I'm too lazy to cook for just me. So I ate cheese salads, baked beans, fried eggs, lots of salad...

Actually, as a student in Leeds, where I had an electric oven in my room, and a metre to feed with coins (15p for a bathful of hot water), I reduced suppers to a helping of cottage cheese with mango chutney, and a portion of uncooked flapjack (why wait?), followed by fruit, a glass of milk and plenty of chocolate. I seemed to survive!

These days I prepare family meals. This is yet another new phase. It is true that life with children doesn't get easier, just different. I no longer make a separate meal for two little people who cannot wait until Husband gets home. In those days my freezer was full of fish fingers which was pretty much all Eldest ate from when she was about 3 until secondary school. At a meeting with a doctor inspecting her health aged about 4 I was told that while her diet might be boring, it was perfectly balanced and I wasn't to worry about it. I didn't, but it reduced the offer I was prepared to make to Youngest because there's a limit to how many evening meals I was going to make. But they're older now, and can wait for Husband's appearance on week nights. We're only gradually broadening the range of food that Youngest will try - she's very partial to a bowl of pasta with grated cheese, so it is possible to feed her simply when she refuses point blank to eat a roasted vegetable lasagne/veggie chilli/ fish pie or whatever.

It remains true that Youngest likes a roast dinner and no vegetables, Eldest likes fish and chips and lots of fruit, and Husband likes joined up meat. I like most things but won't cook things I don't like (prawns), and I'm not keen to make 4 different meals!

I haven't resolved whether we will actually eat the Quorn. Eldest is taking GCSE Home Economics and is doing a project on Textured Vegetable Protein. She is to make a balanced meal incorporating TVP in school on Thursday, and that means for homework she needs to make sure the cobbled together recipe works in the pie dish that I must buy specially - apparently those I own won't do. I didn't do HE so it's a bit of a learning curve for me too: every dish she makes has to include a psycho motor skill, which basically means anything they make must include pastry, bread (in an hour and a half long lesson), a 'proper' sauce or cake making. This makes savoury dishes quite difficult! So a Quorn savoury pie with a cheese crust is to be produced. They also have to present everything so she'll be designing a menu card, looking for suitable table cloth, napkin, vase and flowers and any other prop she thinks might help. Getting to school on Thursdays on the school bus can be a challenge.

The practice session is tonight so I'd better go and buy that pie dish.

No comments: